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Thread: We've got Almonds!!!

  1. #1
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    We've got Almonds!!!

    We bought our ranch about 8 years ago. It was vacant land, but many years ago had been used to raise sheep and for harvesting timber. Even before we even had the house up, we had a veggie garden planted and an orchard started. We put in 2 almond trees about 4 years ago and this year we have almonds!!! Lots of them!!!

    I love almonds. I think that they are my favorite nut, with hazelnuts being my second favorite. (Yup, we've got a small hazelnut tree that we planted 2 years ago, but no nuts yet.) I use almonds in all sorts of ways from homemade almond milk and cheese, to almond extract, to almond flour, almond liqueur, almond butter...the list goes on and on. I usually buy them in bulk and their expensive, especially for the organic kind, but now I have my own Free ones. I'm stoked!

    So, how to process the harvest? I've got the nuts de-husked from their, "drupes," and drying on cookie sheets out in the sun. I need to invest in a nutcracker, but I don't know which kind. I'd love any tips on how to cure them, cook with them, etc. Please bring on your favorite almond recipes!

    BTW...did you know that almond growers call them, "aaaamonds?" That's because the shake the "L" out of them when they mechanically shake the nuts from the trees.

    ~ C
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 08-20-2019 at 10:43 AM. Reason: shouting/all caps

  2. #2
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    Lucky you. Almonds and pecans are my favorite nuts. I would love to have an almond tree, but I don't think it would do well in our terribly humid, hot sticky area. I love that about shaking the trees...too cute. I Googled Almond Nut Cracker Machines and there is a lot of variety out there. Good luck.
    Sew a Little, Love a Lot & Live like you were dying!

  3. #3
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    Congratulations on your harvest! My Dad and I used to collect hickory and butternuts in the fall along the country roadsides. I miss those days and the nuts. Lots of black walnut trees around but the hickory and butternuts trees are scarce.

  4. #4
    Junior Member charley26's Avatar
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    Gosh, you are lucky. I love almonds too, and the blossom is so pretty.

  5. #5
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    Good thinking planting those trees. I have a black walnut tree. A little black walnut goes a long way. No one wants any. LOL

    Macadamia and Brazil nuts are my favorite. I buy pre shelled packages of those once a week for snacking. I keep pre shelled pecans and almonds in the freezer for baking.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
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    My heroes are working people, paying their own way, taking care of their children and being decent human beings.

  6. #6
    Super Member juliasb's Avatar
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    I love just about all kinds of nuts! I was so envious when my daughter told me she had a pecan tree in her back yard years ago I could almost cry! How lucky you are to have your own harvest. I don't have any additional recipes for you. I do however like the idea of you having your own almond trees.

  7. #7
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    ha, ha, ha. I love the BTW comment. got me good. Enjoy the aaaamonds.
    "From hence only infer that an Englishman, of all men, ought not to despise foreigners as such and I think the inference is just, since what they are today, we were yesterday, and tomorrow they will be like us"
    Daniel De Foe -The True Englishman

  8. #8
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    I keep my baking nuts in the freezer. They keep well frozen, never get rancid.

  9. #9
    Super Member luvstoquilt's Avatar
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    My dad had a pecan farm. It was lovely and so were the pecans!��
    "You must do the thing you think you cannot do"....E. Roosevelt

    Sharon
    Yorkville, IL

  10. #10
    Super Member tuckyquilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onebyone View Post
    Good thinking planting those trees. I have a black walnut tree. A little black walnut goes a long way. No one wants any. LOL

    Macadamia and Brazil nuts are my favorite. If I lived close, I'd come harvest them and save you the effort. I buy pre shelled packages of those once a week for snacking. I keep pre shelled pecans and almonds in the freezer for baking.
    OMG:::: I love Black Walnuts. If I lived close I'd come harvest them for you. I still use them in fudge, brownies etc. They used to just grow all over the place where I grew up and folks would just go out and harvest what they wanted. I can remember sitting around shelling the meats, and eating a few along the was. Thankfully I have a place that sells them shelled.
    Jackie
    Lover of Scrappy, Chocolate and Wine

  11. #11
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    Cute . . . "​shake the "L" out of 'em!

  12. #12
    Super Member Battle Axe's Avatar
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    Make sure you have enough bees in the spring to pollinate those nuts.

    I majored in bees at UCD. Once on a field trip our bus got lost in the almond orchards. What a glorious day.

  13. #13
    Super Member Charleen DiSante's Avatar
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    Almonds are one of my favorites too! We moved to North Carolina and I have a pecan tree in my yard. It is fun to gather them and use in so many ways. My grandmother had black walnuts in her yard and we helped my grand dad shell them by putting the green nuts in a burlap bag and walking on them to loosen the outer husks. Then you had to get a good strong hammer to open the shells. Lots of work but I remember the taste in brownies and cookies. Good idea/planning or you to plant the trees! Not may people even know about the taste any more.
    Charlie DiSante

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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckyquilter View Post
    OMG:::: I love Black Walnuts. If I lived close I'd come harvest them for you. I still use them in fudge, brownies etc. They used to just grow all over the place where I grew up and folks would just go out and harvest what they wanted. I can remember sitting around shelling the meats, and eating a few along the was. Thankfully I have a place that sells them shelled.
    How did you shell them? I would like to know. I have two black walnut trees which seem to have nuts every other year. My tenant says she has shelled some, but I know it is not easy. I've tried a hammer or a vice but it is not a fun job.
    Mavita - Square dancer and One Room School Teacher

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Battle Axe View Post
    Make sure you have enough bees in the spring to pollinate those nuts.

    I majored in bees at UCD. Once on a field trip our bus got lost in the almond orchards. What a glorious day.
    Oh fun! I think I know where you were. The Sacramento Valley has miles and miles of almond orchards.

    As for bees, yes, we do have a lot of what I believe are native bees. We didn't have many bees when we first moved on to the land, but I have been planting tons of veggies, fruits and flowers, so we've attracted many different kinds of bees. We live so far away from any other places, or neighbors, so I believe that most of the bees are natives and not European, but I'm not an expert, so who knows. There's a nest of some type of ground bees that have made their home right smack dab in the middle of my veggie garden. I just try to give them a wide berth, leave the weeds and plant around them. My husband has tried to set up hives and attract the honey bees to come live in them, but so far, no luck.

    ~ C

  16. #16
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    Sounds like you have a lot of nice plantings! How about adding some native PawPaw trees? They like to be planted in partial shade and do better with more then I plant .They produce a banana tasting fruit for a couple of weeks in the fall after the second or third year (if you buy a decent size saplings.)

  17. #17
    Super Member katiebear1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karamarie View Post
    I keep my baking nuts in the freezer. They keep well frozen, never get rancid.
    I do the same thing. And you can use them straight out of the freezer . No need to defrost.

  18. #18
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    For those with lots of walnuts (also works some on pecans but better on walnuts) the old timey trick was to find a good sized knothole in a piece of wood that was just slightly smaller than the average nut diameter. You position the nut in the knothole and whack it down with something, personally I like a heavy shoe! Good hand size for me, good whack sound. You can also use a hammer.

    In these modern days, maybe you could drill a hole in a board (I'd say at least 1" thick) that's the right size for your crop. Different years you might need different holes.

    Typically you sit down, put a bowl in your lap/between your legs and the board across your lap. Yes, shells will go flying and there will be clean up both in the bowl and the general area. Good thing to do in an old wooden rocker on the porch. Watch those shell shards, they can be sharp!

  19. #19
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    My friend just sent me this recipe. Said it was delicious and only need a little slice as it was so rich. She said it was at her guild's potluck and not one crumb was left.


    Almond Coffee Cake

    3/4 cup butter
    1 1/2 cup sugar
    2 eggs
    1 1/2 cup flour
    1 tsp real almond extract
    1 package slivered almonds

    Melt butter and add sugar. Beat in egg one at a time. Add flour and almond extract and mix well.
    Pour batter into round baking pan. Sprinkle almonds on top of batter. Bake @350 for 35 -40 min. Let cool and wrap with foil to keep.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
    Being cheap is not a badge of honor.
    My heroes are working people, paying their own way, taking care of their children and being decent human beings.

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